Cast lists and a near miss

It’s been an odd couple of weeks here at my house. I’m struggling with joint pain, but luckily, my doctor thinks it’s viral arthritis instead of rheumatoid which is a very lucky thing. I know people who live with RA, and while I feel greatly for them, I don’t want to join their ranks.

In fits and starts, I’ve been working on cast lists for all my books, updating each one so that it reflects the characters at the start of that particular book. I’ve got The Pyramid Waltz and For Want of a Fiend done. Those tabs are at the top of this page. Now when people are lost about who a particular person is, they can just come to my page and have a look-see. Do check them out and let me know if I’ve missed anyone. Accidents happen. I’ll have tabs for A Kingdom Lost and The Fiend Queen up soon.

I hope everyone can come see me at ArmadilloCon on July 25-27. Here’s where to find me at the con:

Protecting the Indigenous Tribes Fri 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Room E Maresca*, Compton, Wright Indigenous peoples confront a diverse range of concerns. What should be done to ensure their existence?

40 Years of D&D Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Room F Benjamin*, Finn, Maresca, Marmell, Sarath, Wright How did D&D inspire authors?

Build the Perfect Thief Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Room E Finn*, de Orive, Foster, Sheridan Rose, Sullivan, Wright Thieves can make delightful characters, but what does it take to create a great thief? Brad Foster will make an accompanying drawing to be sold for charity.

Gothic Novels of the 1800s Sat Noon-1:00 PM Room F Sarath*, Cheney, Jones, Swendson, Wright Discussion of how gothic novels came to be and which stories can still hold up today.

Reading Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Southpark A Wright

Evil Characters Sat 10:00 PM-11:00 PM Room D Denton*, Acevedo, Marmell, Rountree, Stufflebeam, Wright Discussing the best evil characters in history.

Are You My Mummy? Sat 11:00 PM-Midnight Room D Webb*, McDonald, Waldrop, Wright I want more mummy stories! Why aren’t they being written? Are there any good ones out there?

I hope you can make it out to this great event. These panels are bound to be very entertaining. And don’t worry about that reading hour. I plan to do a humorous talk about dealing with rejection and probably how to sell books with Barbies. And I will have new swag to give away.

Anyone else planning to go to an event? Anyone else heard of cast lists on websites? I hear that’s the new thing, and you know how I like to jump on a bandwagon.


Questions! with Katya and Starbride

Hey, gang. I’m starting a new series today where you can ask Katya and Starbride (or any of the Pyramid characters) any questions you want! Even ones about me!

Here’s part one, with some burning questions I hear alllll the time:

And here’s the link.

If you have a question, just leave it in the comments. Please address all questions to whomever you want answering them, and I’ll make it happen.

p.s. I play with dolls.

In the middle of a great big tired

So much is going on, reader/writer friends. I just got back from Disney World (fantastic) and this weekend I’m going to California for Bent-Con. If you live near Burbank, come and see me. I’ll be doing panels and helping to man a BSB table.

I’m also doing NanoWriMo this year in an effort to finish the fourth Katya and Star book. So, it’s busy busy time for me. If you’re doing Nano as well, leave me your username in the comments and I’ll friend you. Or you can just friend me. I’m zendra.

I’m also working on a new idea for a series of Barbie videos. I hope to get one day later in November if I don’t die first.

I may have some Disney photos for you next time, but I can’t remember where they are right now. Wish me luck friends, or I might sleep during Bent-Con.

Meanwhile, in Spain…

I went to Spain. But you probably guessed that from the title. I plan to tell you all about it and share pics, but first, let’s go to Fencon.

Yeah, got off a plane yesterday, driving to Dallas tomorrow. Bad. Ass. And probably tired. And more than a little punch-drunk. So come see me possibly start talking randomly about cupcakes! Here’s my schedule so far:

Friday 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Modern Good vs Ancient Evil

Description: Ancient Evil has always been a convenient means of explaining the unknown. Yet, even in modern times we still love to read tales of contemporary people fighting ancient, unspeakable evils. Does this say something about our basic fears, or do we just love to read cracking good tales?

Friday 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Beastly Fans

Description: The Internet may be made of cats, but is fantasy made of dragons? Why do some animals endure as symbols in literature and art, and why do they resonate with fans?

Friday 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
When Action Gets in the Way of Story

Description: How often have you wondered if a particular movie scene was only included to plant seeds for the video game that comes after? How many fight or chase scenes in books went on so long that you got bored and started skipping ahead? Our panelists talk about how to make every scene worthy of the the space it takes up.

Saturday 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
FenCon Squares

Description: It’s the classic game show “Hollywood Squares” with a FenCon twist! Join us for an hour of fun and games as our panel of guests try to help (or bluff) our contestants. We even have a “Secret Square” in each game! Come check it out. You might win a prize!

Saturday 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
No, I’m Hero Support

Description: Good sidekicks aren’t just ciphers. They have back-stories that may be as rich as the main character’s. A good sidekick does more than point, ask questions, and scream. Our panelists discuss what goes into creating a good companion.

Saturday 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
World Building

Description: Why work in invented settings? How do you keep settings internally consistent? Which invented worlds have inspired you and your creations? How do you stop yourself from building more than you need for the story you’re telling? Our panelists will answer these questions and more.

Find the full schedule on the Fencon site.

I will also be hauling around books to sell, so I hope you’ll stop by and say hello…and you know, buy a book.

Also, just before I left I received my cover art for book 3 in the Katya and Starbride series, A Kingdom Lost!

A Kingdom Lost 300 DPI


Princess Katya Nar Umbriel has little left to lose. Her uncle Roland took her home, scattered her family, and forced her to abandon Starbride, her dearest love. Slim hopes and righteous anger carry Katya into Starbride’s homeland to raise an army and take back all that was stolen from her.

Starbride never dreamed she’d lead a pack of foreign rebels against a Fiendish usurper. She holds the capital city out of love, denying any rumor of Katya’s death. As the two strive toward each other, Roland dogs their every step, loosing Fiend-filled corpses on Katya’s army and hypnotizing the capital’s citizens into hunting Starbride down. If they ever meet again, it’ll be over his dead body.


It’s all yours coming in April!

Next time, I’ll have some Spain and Fencon pics for you. That’ll be a long post.

Nap time? Anyone?

Just a reminder…

About Palm Springs!

questions 1

You’ll be seeing me talk about other worlds, romance, and do a readings from The Pyramid Waltz and For Want of a Fiend. I might even give away some spoilers…

Like who this guy is ^_^

Like who this guy is ^_^

It’s gonna be a wild time.



So do come out and say hello. Seriously, do. I hate eating alone.

That's probably me that brought that giant cheese.

That’s probably me that brought that giant cheese.

Palm Springs so far

Everyone getting excited about the Bold Strokes Books Festival in Palm Springs, Thursday, February 28, to Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Casitas Laquita and the Palm Springs Public library!

There are many great authors going, but it’s my blog, so I’m gonna tell you where you can find me. 😉

On Friday, March 1st:

At 12:30 to 1:45, I’ll be on a panel called Other Worlds where we’ll probably be talking about creating fantasy or sci-fi settings

From 1:45 to 3:00, I’ll be moderating a panel called The Art of Romance. It’s my first time as a moderator, so I pretty sure we’ll be talking about writing romance. Well, the authors will be talking, and I’ll be making pithy comments.

From 6:00 to 7:30, I’ll be participating in an author roundtable where I’ll read and answer questions about my book!

I’ll also be doing signings and mingling and if I’m lucky, eating food. I wouldn’t mind company at any of these things, so if you show up to Palm Springs, please come say hello. I hate mingling by myself.

Is anyone reading this actually planning to be there? If not, what the hell do you have that’s so pressing you can’t go to Palm Springs in February/March?!?!?!

IWW: In the spotlight

If you had told me I’d be speaking in front of people about my book years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you…and I might have thrown up a little.

And if I had committed to speak then, they would have had to drag me in like this:


Even though I did theater in high school, I’ll always had a hard time with crowds. It’s more than being an introvert, it’s an aversion about talking about myself, especially my work.

I’ve met a lot of women who resist talking themselves up, even when it’s appropriate. It’s a pretty hard skill to acquire, and I’m still flabbergasted when people ask me about my work. I still think someone has paid them to be interested.

I pictured my first Q&A would go like this:

questions 1

I have one


outta here

crap 1

Fortunately, my first talk went worlds better than that. WORLDS. However, if you do meet me and ask me about my work or compliment me, please forgive me if I stammer a bit. After years of practice, I can handle that hair question easier, at least. From airports to restaurants, all over the world, people have always wanted to know if this is my real hair.

Do you have to jump start your brain when someone asks about your work? How about if they ask you about your hair?

Catching up, a big reveal, and an even bigger thank you

2013! We just know it’s gonna be awesome. First a recap of all the places you can find me later in the year:

February 28th-March 3rd Bold Strokes Books Festival
Casitas Laquita Resort
Palm Springs, California

March 22-24, 2013 Aggiecon 44
Hilton College Station & Conference Center
801 University Drive East, College Station, Texas, 77840-2116

April 5-6 Lone Star LesFic Festival
Crystal Auditorium at Nature’s Treasures
4103 North IH-35 Austin, Texas 78722

August 2-4 Space City Con
Houston Marriott Westchase
2900 Briarpark Dr. · Houston, Texas 77042

I might also be at freaking World Con in August/September.

And now for the big reveal! Here’s the cover for For Want of a Fiend, the sequel to The Pyramid Waltz (now also on Amazon for Kindle)!

Double squeeeeeeee

Double squeeeeeeee


Here’s the synopsis:
Princess Katya Nar Umbriel’s uncle Roland rose from the grave, kidnapped her cousin, and stripped her of her greatest weapon—her Fiendish power. Without her Fiend, Katya doubts her ability to weather the storm her uncle is brewing. When she lacks what even the children in her family possess, can she even call herself an Umbriel?

In only a short time, Starbride has become the princess consort, a pyradisté, and a member of a secret order in charge of protecting the crown. Even steeped in responsibility, she’s still an outsider. While wading through court intrigue and resisting schemes to break her bond with Katya, Starbride must prepare for a covert war. Roland is waiting, watching, ready for any chink in their armor, and he doesn’t care who knows their secrets.


I’m so excited. And more books are coming! I’m working on them, I swear!

Thanks to everyone who made this year so wonderful for me. I feel so lucky right now, I might go play all the lotteries. And because of Christmas, I can now bring you the whole family!

From left to right: Maia, Brom, Reinholt, Einrich, Catirin, Averie, Katya, Dawnmother, Starbride. Up front: Pennynail

From left to right: Maia, Brom, Reinholt, Einrich, Catirin, Averie, Katya, Dawnmother, Starbride. Up front: Pennynail

You can probably tell that so far, Pennynail is one of my most beloved characters. I’m glad people are enjoying him/her. Guess what? In For Want of a Fiend, I’ll tell you what that is under the mask!

Fancy a bit of crumpet?

Fancy a bit of crumpet?

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and day and a safe holiday. If you had a terrible 2012, I hope your luck much improves this year. If you had a fabulous 2012, I hope it gets even better for you. Thank you for coming on this wonderful ride with me. Let’s see just how far we can go!

Okay, plans for 2013, let’s have ’em. Tell them to me, tell me your secrets… (Nope, not creepy at all. Nailed it.)